Over the weekend, we headed up the North Shore of Lake Superior camping and geared up for king salmon (and anything else we might have the opportunity to catch). We were determined and even brought the boats with for fishing in the big rivers.
The first couple of days were rough. There was much rain and learning on how to find and target these fish. After hooking up twice and losing both fish in the deep fast water, it was a frustrating end to a day. Changing out lures, adding weight, taking off weight, using divers to take our lines down – we tried everything. The next day we tried a different section of river and Phil went back to his jet diver/spoon combo. We were pulling through some really fast water and the rods were bent over so hard it made it difficult to hang on. That’s when Phil hooked up with his first fish. Looking up I saw his rod was flying back and forth as the fish went tearing down river. I was able to slide the boat back into an eddy where we could swing the fish over and land it. Phil had just caught his first ever king salmon and a nice bright one at that.
On the following day, the rain was back and it was pouring. We decided to not put the boats in but to do some casting from shore instead. Digging through my spoon box, I found the heaviest spoon I could and tied it on my line. Casting and bombing it out into the river I let the current take it down stream and began to wind in, letting it swing through the seam where the fast water met some not-so-fast water. After making several casts I noticed a fish roll right near my line as it was swinging down stream. I began retrieving the spoon and felt a whack. Nothing. I pumped it a couple times slowing down and then something slammed the spoon and it was on. This fish was ripping line off my reel and making runs back and forth through the current. Once I was able to swing it out of the fastest water, I could make some progress pumping it towards shore where I was able to beach it. A dandy king salmon. I finally got what I came for and it was thrilling.
Joel joined me a short while later and began chucking one of his big spoons into the seam. After much casting he hooked into something big. It fought a little different and was more like dead weight in the current with big slow head shakes.
Finally he managed to get it into the slower water where it surfaced and came near shore. He had a big pike, quite possibly the biggest he has ever had. It was thick like an alligator coming up onto the beach. It was exciting but I know he would have much preferred a salmon. This pike measured around 38 or 39″.
Fishing was slower for us than what we had hoped, but it was a good trip and we learned a lot. We are all looking forward to doing it all again, next time with more wisdom and experience to put more fish in the boat.